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Taiwan's CECC looking to loosen Level 2 limits on Sept. 20

Chen says discussions on relaxing restrictions underway now that cases under control

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People wearing masks as they play volleyball at Waimushan Seaside Scenic Area.

People wearing masks as they play volleyball at Waimushan Seaside Scenic Area. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CEEC) head indicated on Tuesday (Sept. 14) that the center is considering loosening Level 2 epidemic control restrictions when they expire on Sept. 20.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) stated Tuesday that the EVA Air pilot and kindergarten Delta cluster infections are already under control and that their impact on the community has been kept to a minimum. He pointed out that most counties and cities have reported zero confirmed cases for several days, and he therefore recommended that epidemic prevention guidelines be appropriately loosened.

Health Minister and CECC chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that afternoon that the latest outbreaks seem to have been brought under control for now, and he confirmed that he is indeed considering gradually relaxing the epidemic prevention regulations in response to lifestyle and economic needs, adding that discussions are underway. Chen said that the center is eyeing a loosening of Level 2 restrictions on their Sept. 20 expiration but that it is still gathering information and discussing the plan with various ministries.

Chen emphasized that there is no plan to tighten restrictions. Regarding the regulations about public barbecuing during the Mid-Autumn Festival by various cities and counties, Chen said that the CECC does not plan on setting a unified standard and will leave that decision up to local governments.

The center first issued a Level 2 alert on May 11, when Taiwan saw a major community outbreak of COVID cases. As cases continued to skyrocket, the CECC raised the restrictions to Level 3 on May 19.

As the number of cases began to decline significantly, the center lowered the epidemic alert level to Level 2 on July 27. The CECC has continued to extend Level 2 with numerous adjustments since that date.